Kathy Gainey, Richmond County Clerk of Superior Court, has announced a bid for reelection to office as her first term wraps up this year.
Gainey has worked in the clerk’s office, in some capacity, since September 1974 when she was hired as a deputy clerk after a former judge offered her the position.
“I was offered the job and I jumped on it,” Gainey said. “I had never even been in a courtroom until then.”
She said she’s always had the desire to work in the judicial system, originally intending to go to school to be an attorney.
She rose from deputy clerk, to assistant clerk and ultimately clerk of court in 2006.
“I knew since 1976 I wanted to be the clerk of court,” Gainey said. “It’s been a privilege since then to be considered a public servant.”
“I don’t show favoritism,” Gainey said. “You go by the laws, rules and evidence set before you.”
According to Gainey, she must remain fair and impartial to those she serves and to the system.
Originally from Richmond County, Gainey has spent much of her life working around the court system and in and out of the court house.
“I don’t feel like retiring yet,” Gainey said. “I feel like I make a difference.”
“I care about people. Being here so long people know my name and they feel comfortable talking to me. I respect them and they respect me.”
The clerk of superior court is elected to a four-year term and must be a resident of the county in which they serve. As Judge of Probate, they have jurisdiction over matters relating to the probate of a wills, estate hearings and the administration of estates. This also includes appointing personal representatives, auditing the accounting and removing them from office, if necessary. The clerk also presides over the condemnation of private lands for public use, guardianship and foreclosures.
Gainey explained that foreclosures have proven to be one of the hardest parts of her job, especially in the last couple years since the economy slumped.
In addition, the clerk is responsible for all clerical and record-keeping functions of both district and superior court.
Filing for election begins Monday at noon.
Staff writer Bryan Stewart can be reached at 997-3111 ext. 15 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.